This year, Amy and I were determined to make our exams authentic. One of the options for the reading portion of the exam was for our students to create top 10 lists, and many of them did. Their lists are funny, honest, and so valuable for helping spread the word amongst readers about good books. Below is Aleigha’s list of recommendations for high-interest books that will hook teens and get them to fall in love with reading–feel free to share them with your students!
Aleigha’s Top 10 List: Best High-Interest for Teens
- Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Though this book was funny and lighthearted it still had the ability to change my life. It really helped me realize that you should appreciate your siblings while they are close to you. Seeing how quickly Cath and Wren distanced themselves in college put my relationship with my siblings into perspective.
- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
This book is so much different from your usual love story. By that I mean it’s extremely realistic. It changed my life because I could picture myself as Eleanor. It was one of those books that are so realistic it’s kind of scary not many love stories can make you envision yourself as the character.
- I Hate Myselfie by Shane Dawson
I have never laughed so hard while reading a book. This guy literally takes everything that should have been traumatic to him and turns it into humor. This book changed my life because it taught me that it is important to laugh at your own pain. You shouldn’t take everything so seriously.
- Looking for Alaska by John Green
This book for me is one that really set an example. It breaks away from the normal click of kids you have in high school and puts a group of complete opposites in a single friend group. That was one of my favorite things about this book. It just kind of made me feel like it’s okay for me to talk to the jock or the pothead.
- All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
This book is very eye opening. It is about two teenagers who bond over a mental illness and fall in love it. It makes you very aware of the signs of depression and makes you analyze not only yourself but others. This book has the ability to change lives because it teaches you about the sensitive topic of depression.
- A Work in Progress by Connor Franta
The author of this book is a Youtuber who tells you all about his life in high school and his YouTube journey. The book itself contains a lot of life lessons. He tells a story and then wraps it up with a lesson at the end. I enjoyed this book a lot because it shows how a normal really small town kid can become really successful with hard work.
- We Were Liars by e. lockhart
If we’re being honest, the only reason this book changed my life is because it just made me really depressed. I was just extremely upset once I reached the end of it. I didn’t want to believe what had happened was true and I cried for the main character. And then I cried because what other reaction can you have to a book that ended so terribly. So I guess this book changed my life because it made me realize that I cry more for fictional characters than I do for people I actually know.
- The Fault in our Stars by John Green
Again another book that screwed me up emotionally. This one really does make you cherish your life and your friends. If after reading this you are not greatful for what and who you are blessed with that will be a surprise. Everytime I read this book I don’t just form my own imaginary relationship with Augustus Waters. I also find myself being very thankful that I have experienced little loss in my life. This book is another one that puts it all into perspective.
- Every day by David Levithan
Every day is a book about a person who wakes up in a different body every day. He never has the chance to experience what it is like to have a family or best friend. This book is life changing for me because it makes you appreciate the blessing of continuity. I think having a constant in your life is something that we all take for granted.
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of those books that make you really cherish your friends. Until you find out what happens to Charlie as a child, you assume the book is about a young boy coming out of his shell. As u read through the book, you experience the ups and downs of friendship and watch Charlie become a whole new person. This book has made me really appreciate my friends.